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C of I junior receives memorial scholarship

College of Idaho student Ha Dang has received the Robert G. Peterson Memorial Scholarship, a prestigious Western Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators honor awarded annually to students from WACLEA-certified colleges who demonstrate an interest in their campus safety offices as well as overall law enforcement.

The outgoing Dang – known affectionately as “Ha Ha” by her C of I peers thanks to her friendly demeanor – received the scholarship this month. She was one of two WACLEA honorees for 2014.

“I have great enthusiasm for enforcing laws and maintaining the safety in my community,” Dang said. “I think campus safety is an essential part of a college that people should value.”

The scholarship was created to recognize Robert G. Peterson for his excellence as director of public safety and chief of police at Western Washington University. Peterson helped establish WACLEA while working at Western Washington, where he served from 1968 until his death in 1989.

“One of my biggest passions has always been law,” Dang said. “So when I learned about the scholarship, I was extremely interested because it focused on enforcing law and keeping things just and safe.”

Dang’s passion for law stems not only from the knowledge she has gained as an international political economy major at The College of Idaho, but also from her concern for her home country of Vietnam.

“I come from an agricultural town in Vietnam that is underdeveloped, and I recognize that many economically developed countries have really good legal systems,” Dang said. “They manage to create a just, moral and kind mindset in the population. I really want that to happen in my country.”

Dang, an aspiring lawyer, is grateful for the Robert G. Peterson Memorial Scholarship. She sees it as the latest example of the many opportunities she’s been given to succeed at the College. 

“When I was back at home it would be very difficult for a student to promote themselves,” Dang said. “But at The College of Idaho, opportunities come every day. You just need to look out for them.”

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 12 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit